Past Railway Empires

By pastrlyempires

Barbados Railway Timetable

The Barbados Railway was opened in 1883 as a 3 ft 6 in gauge railway round the south and east coasts of Barbados, for 24 miles from Bridgetown to St Andrew. Locomotives were supplied by Vulcan Foundry in Lancashire.

Its primary purpose was to transport sugar cane from around the Island to the port of Bridgetown.

By 1897 the railway and its rolling stock was in very poor condition since it had been constructed with rail too light for the railway's locomotives.

So a new company was established in 1898 to rebuild and operate the railway. and Everard Calthrop was engaged as consulting engineer. Calthrop had built narrow gauge railways in India (the Barsi Railway) and later the Leek and Manifold Light Railway in England.

Calthorp arranged for the railway to be rebuilt in 2 ft 6 in his preferred gauge, and had the US Baldwin Locomotive Works build four new locomotives, two 2-8-2T's, an 2-6-0T and an 0-6-0T, called Beatrice, Alice, Catherine and Dorothy.

The Government of Barbados bought the Company in 1916, but with motor transport spreading after the First World War, and no investment, the railway was doomed. It was closed in 1937 and nothing now remains apart from traces of the track-bed and some bridges and culverts.

Here is a reproduction of a Barbados Railway timetable offering tourist excursions.

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